winning: everything or only thing?

August 18, 2007
So last night I'm helping to watch a five-year-old cousin of mine, enlisting my Aunt's GameCube as co-babysitter. Caleb likes two player games but is absolutely shameless in asking to swap controllers whenever I get the least bit ahead.

My Aunt says he reminds me of him at that age.

So despite that, or possibly because of that, I try to help him get a sense of perspective.
"Hey, you know what happens if you lose?"
"Nothing! I still think you're a good kid. But you know what happens if you win?"
"Still nothing! It's just a silly game."
But winning in and of itself was more important than game logic to him and he freely reveled in victory even if it was the result of a last second swap. For some of the latter games I would quietly let him win, but still I wonder which is the best stance to take: to play along and make him happy, or to try and help him put losing a game into perspective.

For if I wasn't letting him win he would have LOST. Oh yes, he would have lost, and sweet victory would have been mine!